Wearing headlamps and saddled up on horses, a crew of equestrians arrived at a McDonald’s drive-thru, trotting down the pavement where customers usually line up their cars to get orders.
As they stood in front of glowing McDonald’s signs on Saturday night to get their fast food fix, the surreal scene looked like something straight out of a western sci-fi film. Except it actually took place in Cyberjaya, a city in western Malaysia, known as the country’s version of Silicon Valley.
The equestrians and their horses attracted curious onlookers that night and caught the attention of social media users when photos of the adventure were posted online. Which leaves many wondering: Why?
Equestrian Alison B. Lim told VICE that McDonald’s was the chosen destination for their night ride. On these night rides, riders from the local horseback riding center 3S Equestrian Center (Cyberjaya) would explore nearby places on horseback, a shift from the environment of the riding center.
“Part of the reason is because the McDonald’s in Cyberjaya—it was newly opened,” Lim said about the ride-thru that night. A 5-minute car ride away from the riding center, the McDonald’s outlet they visited had just opened in October.
Some online commenters worried about the safety of the excursion. Horses are known for getting skittish around novel objects. With a sudden jump or an urge to flee, spooked horses may spell danger for the rider and people around, especially in public.
However, Lim said that they took extra care to make sure that the horses weren’t spooked along the way. “We just slowly, relaxingly, walked towards the McDonald’s,” Lim said.
Drive-thrus are typically meant for people in motor vehicles, but this hasn’t stopped customers from trying out chaotic tactics to get their McDonald’s fix—from cardboard cars to carrying a whole dead deer.
And now, horses in Cyberjaya are the latest unconventional visitors to the fast food chain. Lim said that a couple of people from their group had gone down to the McDonald’s outlet earlier in the day to ask for permission to do a ride-thru that night.
Turns out, the fast food ride-thru was also part of a birthday surprise for Lim. While she thought she was just joining her fellow horse lovers for a night ride, Lim was surprised with a birthday cake and song when they arrived at their destination.
“It was a very unforgettable experience for me,” Lim said.
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